Death of Matt Cullen (Coolmanagh) RIP

November 8, 2018

Matt Cullen (Coolmanagh, Hacketstown)) who passed away on 28 October at the age of 84 was one the last surviving members of the great Clonmore teams of the 1950s and 60s. Along with his brother Denis, Matt graced the Clonmore jersey with distinction during the club's golden era when the men in red & green won the Senior Football Championship in 1955, the League & Championship double in'56 and contested county finals in 1958, 63 and 65. 

Matt was a small man but he made up for his lack of inches with great speed, skill and what his neighbour, Bob Tallon, used to call "cleverality". He was a fun loving character and he played his football as he lived his life – with a smile on his face, always up to some "divilment" and he was famous for his trickery. From the time the Clonmore club was formed in 1947 till he retired in the early 1960s, Matt was a regular on the team, usually operating at corner forward beside older brother, Denis, at no.14. From there he scored many vital goals in Clonmore's Championship winning campaigns which started in 1950 with a Junior Championship and continued with the Senior Championships in 1955 & 56 before losing the final in 1958, all three senior finals against O'Hanrahans.

Matt's outstanding contribution to the club was recognised when he received the Clonmore Hall of Fame Award in 1984.

Matt's family have been immersed in the GAA in the Hacketstown/Clonmore area for generations. Daughter Juliana served the club as Secretary and Treasurer for many years and sons Brendan and Philip both had very successful playing careers, Philip winning an All-Ireland "B" Championship medal with Carlow in 1994. Now they are coaching the next generation of Cullens at juvenile level.Indeed, the Cullen name is synonymous with Carlow GAA since Dr Cullen Park was called after Matt's grand uncle, Dr Matthew Cullen, Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin (1864-1936). 

Matt is remembered with great fondness by friend and foe alike, as an warm hearted gentleman off the field and as a great hearted player on it. The huge number of people who attended his funeral was an indication of the high regard with which he was held throughout the county, and beyond. Guards of Honour from both Clonmore's adult and juvenile clubs lined the streets of Hacketstown at Matt's funeral on Saturday, 31 October, and the Clonmore jersey was placed upon his coffin. 

Clonmore GFC sends sincere sympathies to the family and friends of this great Gael – ní bheidh a leithéad ann arís we will not see his likes again.

The death has occurred of Matthew CULLEN

Coolmanagh, Hacketstown, Carlow

Matt died on Wednesday Oct 28th at St. Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny. Deeply regretted by his loving wife Alice, daughter Juliana, sons Brendan and Philip, sister Sr. Ainé, (St. Leo's), brother Denis, grandchildren Katie, Matt, Colm, Conal, Darragh and Lee, son-in-law Tom, daughters-in-law Lorraine and Irene, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends.


May Matt Rest in Peace


Reposing at his home in Coolmanagh from 5pm on Thursday evening, Oct. 29th, until the Removal on Saturday morning, Oct. 31st. at 10.30am to St. Brigid's Church, Hacketstown for Requiem Mass at 11am with Funeral afterwards to Hacketstown Cemetery. Family flowers only, please. Donations, if desired, to The Friends of St. Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny.

Date Published: Thursday 29th October 2015
Date of Death: Wednesday 28th October 2015